Following a recent field survey conducted by the teams of Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA), the association has estimated that the area under soybean may decrease by about 6.4% over last year’s estimate. Estimate of area given by the government was higher than that of SOPA in 2016. Last season, soybean acreage had crossed 110 lakh hectare. Two teams of SOPA officials conducted extensive field surveys in 42 major soybean growing districts of three states – Madhya Pradesh (23 locations), Maharashtra (13 locations) and Rajasthan (6 locations) between August 14-20 to assess the shift in area, crop condition and expected productivity. Major findings of the team show that this monsoon arrived on time and the sowing of soybean was done during June 10 to June 20 period. “Overall the germination is satisfactory. In some areas, re-sowing had to be done because an extended dry spell,” said DN Pathak, executive director at SOPA.
According to him, over all condition of the soybean crop in most of the areas is normal. In some parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, where light soil exists, soybean crop has already been damaged due to moisture stress, which may affect the overall productivity in these areas, he said. However, there is not much change in the area in Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The team found that the extended dry spell had caused attack of some pests and insects in some areas. “Attack of white grub larva was seen in some districts of Madhya Pradesh. Normally, this does not happen in black cotton soil but the dry spell caused it, which led to total damage to the standing crop in a small area,” Pathak said. No threat to crop by weeds was seen. On the last two days of the survey, welcome rains were reported from some areas of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, which will save the crop from further loss in yield, he said.
According to the team findings, the overall area in Madhya Pradesh has decreased 11% and the shift is to other crops like urad, moong, maize, etc. Early maturating varieties of soybean like JS 96-60 and JS 93-05 have been sown in most of the area (approximately 85%) of the state. Moreover, some crop in the Khandwa, Khargone and Barwani districts of Madhya Pradesh has suffered moisture stress because there was no rain during the last 20-25 days. This may affect the productivity adversely, Pathak said, The overall crop of the state is at pod formation to grain filling stage, and condition of the crop is normal, Pathak said.
The soybean crop of the Latur, Beed, Osmanabad, Akola, Buldhana and Parbhani districts of Maharashtra is at flowering stage and is suffering from moisture stress because there have been no rains for the last 20-25 days. This may affect the productivity adversely, according to the team. Soybean variety JS-335 remains the most popular in the state and it covers approximately 80% of the total area under soybean in the state. Interestingly, the area under tur and cotton by way of intercropping in soybean has reduced compared to the last year. However, due to intercropping, about 5% area may still have been reported twice. It would, therefore, be prudent to factor in the acreage number accordingly, Pathak said.